Antivirus vendor McAfee Inc., still licking its wounds in the wake of a stock option scandal and other setbacks, has named a new president and CEO. Dave DeWalt will succeed George Samenuk, who resigned in October.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said in a statement that DeWalt will start April 2. It is anticipated that he will also be appointed to the McAfee board of directors. DeWalt was most recently president of customer operations and content management software for EMC. He had previously served as CEO of Documentum, a content management firm EMC ultimately acquired.
An internal investigation into stock options grants at McAfee led to Samenuk's resignation and the firing of Kevin Weiss, the company's president, last fall. Dale Fuller, a member of the McAfee board, had been serving as interim CEO and president.
Samenuk, who had been with McAfee since January 2001, said at the time that he was retiring in the "best interests of the company, its shareholders and employees. I regret that some of the stock option problems identified by the special committee occurred on my watch."
The departures of Samenuk and Weiss came at the end of an investigation by a special committee of the company's board of directors into the way that certain stock options were granted in the last 10 years. The committee found that McAfee needed to restate some of its historical financial results, which was expected to result in a charge of at least $100 million.
McAfee was also sued last year by Dallas-based security firm DeepNines Inc. because of alleged patent infringement and false product marking. DeepNines said it was issued a U.S. patent number in June for its Security Edge Platform (SEP), a unified threat management product that integrates firewall, behavior- and signature-based intrusion detection (IDS) and prevention (IPS), antivirus and traffic management into a single device.
But, DeepNines claimed, McAfee has been marking and selling about nine separate products that claim the patent as its own, including McAfee IntruShield and Total Protection, which the vendor released last April to much fanfare.
Despite these problems, security experts have lauded McAfee's recent product moves as a model for other security vendors to follow as they fight to stay relevant in an increasingly saturated market.
Its Total Protection service was designed to combine and manage all the elements of a corporate security system through a single console and agent platform, something IT professionals have been clamoring for, experts note.
Total Protection includes antivirus for all tiers of the network, as well as antispyware, antispam, a desktop firewall, host intrusion prevention and a complete network access control system, according to the McAfee Web site.
"This is a good example of a company trying to stay at the forefront despite Microsoft's moves" in the security market, which has spooked other vendors such as Symantec, Natalie Lambert, an analyst for the Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research Inc., said in an interview last year.